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Brahms: Piano Concertos, Nos. 1 & 2

Johannes Brahms , Riccardo Chailly , Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig , Nelson Freire Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Price: $19.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2006 $11.49  
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Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 1. Maestoso - Poco più moderato - 1. Maestoso - Poco più moderato20:47Album Only
listen  2. 2. Adagio - 2. Adagio14:00Album Only
listen  3. 3. Rondo (Allegro non troppo) - 3. Rondo (Allegro non troppo)11:26Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. 1. Allegro non troppo - 1. Allegro non troppo18:09Album Only
listen  2. 2. Allegro appassionato - 2. Allegro appassionato 8:37Album Only
listen  3. 3. Andante - Più adagio - 3. Andante - Più adagio12:19Album Only
listen  4. 4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto - 4. Allegretto grazioso - Un poco più presto 9:25Album Only


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Brahms: Piano Concertos, Nos. 1 & 2 + Chopin: The Nocturnes
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Product Details

  • Performer: Nelson Freire
  • Orchestra: Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Composer: Johannes Brahms
  • Audio CD (May 9, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B000E6TYI4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,350 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure vintage recordings setting the standard May 27, 2006
Format:Audio CD
There are so many recordings of these two giants of piano concertos. Both works of epic stature need both an excellent soloist and orchestra. These works of symphonic strength need an orchestra that is not just an accompanying partner for the soloist who needs for his part intelligence, power, balance, sensitivity and poetry(!)in order to tackle the ongoing massive orchestral flow.

Among the great recordings of these piano concertos rank certainly Leon Fleisher and George Szell on Sony (a violent and passionate orchestra - need one say more with a monument as Szell and his beloved Cleveland Orchestra? - and a poetic pianist as Fleisher who marvelled and sculpted these works from his childhood on), Emil Gilels and Eugen Jochum on Deutsche Grammophon (a true classic interpretation, balanced, mature, but for me just a little not passionate enough, anyway Jochum recalls this recording a year before his death as one of the special moments of his entire career), and last but not least Hélène Grimaud and Kurt Sanderling on Erato, as for the piano orchestra no.1 (a volatile and passionate brahmsian fury, a reading of genuine romance, sturm und drang, power and insight). The latter version became recently my personal beloved one for the ongoing pulse and heartbeat of miss Grimaud, not just a pianist, but a musician.

But now Decca surprises us with an ardent live version of these works with the legendary Brasilian Nelson Freire and the even more legendary 250 year old central european Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig (Mendelsohn was one of its first Kapellmeisters!) under the baton of its new conductor Riccardo Chailly: an invaluable coupling.

Chailly has proven himself as one of the utmost exciting conductors of the last fifteen years in the entire world, (e.g.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brahms Piano Concertos: The Best July 4, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I did not buy these recordings; they were given to me by Professor Andreas Schulz, Gewandhausdirektor. I had expressed to him my longstanding enthusiasm for the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra as well as my thoughts that the new conductor, Riccardo Chailly, along with Martha Argerich, had interpreted Schumann extremely well. The two CDs of these recordings, along with a few others, were sent by him to the Leipzig Marriott, where I was staying.

What a gift! I had not known Nelson Freire previously. I quickly became acquainted with him through a google search and acquiring CDs of performances of him playing Schumann and Chopin. He is an extremely sensitive and intuitive performer with as good a technique as any living pianist. Riccardo Chailly came to Leipzig after being the conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, an orchestra that he had honed into the clearly world-class orchestra that it is. (I consider the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Dresden Staatskapelle, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to be the three best orchestras in the world.) The end result of this combination of the pianist and the conductor are these two superlative recordings by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

The First Piano Concerto is played with all of the struggle, the masculine sinewy sound of conflict that you hear other pianists portray. However, Nelson Freire also finds the poetry that resides in this music. The first piano concerto was written by Brahms shortly after his enthusiastic reception by Robert Schumann. A short time later, in a fit of depression, Schumann jumped off the bridge spanning the Rhine near his home in Dusseldorf. After he was taken from the water by fishermen, he was sent to an asylum in Endenich bei Bonn, where he died two years later.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but New Benchmark? I Don't Get It! December 7, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These are strong performances, but I'm at a loss to understand the lavish praise. *Everyone* seems to not just like them, but love them. I don't get it! Perhaps some fellow Amazon denizens can set me straight.

These monumental works are exciting and beautiful and hold a special place in my heart. This recording has exciting and beautiful moments (mostly in the third movement of 1), but, given the extensive competition, not enough to justify its seemingly universal acclaim as the new benchmark. I don't hear what's so revelatory here. I've tried. Several times. Each time, I just want to listen to a different recording, whereupon I'm able to lose myself once again in these dramatic and heartbreaking pieces of music.

Some of my dissatisfaction is due to the recording, which most seem to regard as impeccable. Though I'm not a crazy audiophile, I have pretty good equipment -- stuff you can't get at Best Buy -- and, to my ear, the recording is boomy and muddled -- not crisp and clear -- with the orchestra often sounding muffled compared to the piano, especially in 2. Pop in remastered recordings from distant history (Fleischer/Szell, Richter/Leinsdorf for 2), and, wow, you can actually make out the strings and the timpani and everything else without it all sinking into bass-heavy and/or ringy noise. With those ancient recordings, it actually sounds like you're there. Ironically, with these live modern recordings, it sounds like I'm listening over the concert hall's P.A. system in the lobby because I got there late.

Another complaint is Mr. Freire's playing, which, to my ear, falls a bit short along many dimensions. I'm a stickler for technical mastery and precision.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars An unlistenable disaster.
Modernism in music is peculiarly related to Liberalism. Modernism (in music) claims to refrain from excess for the sake of 'text', while either ignoring or missing the fact that... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Goosta
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Live Performances in Recent Sound
I got these recordings because I remember Freire's debut recordings with Kempe and the MPO back in 1971. He showed himself then as a sensitive pianist with excellent technique. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Wandering Cloud
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best I've Heard - So Far
I came to these works late - only recently, in fact. And I've listened to a couple of recordings, including the new and highly touted one by Hélène Grimaud (see my... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert B. Lamm
3.0 out of 5 stars Unforced but not always emotionally charged performances
Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire is a talented musician whose most preeminent gift is his complete and utter naturalness, his unforced charm. Read more
Published 13 months ago by John J. Puccio
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine recordings of readings that have earned much critical approbation
This pair of performances, recorded in 2005-6, are a distillation from 'live' performances at that time. Read more
Published 14 months ago by I. Giles
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but There's Better
I should be groued with those who find these performances to be perfectly okay but certainly not benchmark recordings. Read more
Published 17 months ago by J. R. Trtek
3.0 out of 5 stars Much to enjoy, but ultimately too streamlined
At first I was spellbound by these fastidious, smooth performances and would still say that there's much to recommend them. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Paul Bubny
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful - the sound quality is not that great
I bought this CD because I wanted to have a nice modern recording in very good sound quality - sorry to say that I am dissappointed because altough the recording reveals a lot of... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kornél Endre Schalk, Budapest
1.0 out of 5 stars Can Freire and Chailly make Brahms any more dull??
Three words for the interpretation on this recording: dull, dull, dull. I have to mention that the orchestra is perfectly in tune and the soloist hits all of the notes, but... Read more
Published on June 15, 2011 by TallGuy
5.0 out of 5 stars Nelson Freire climbs magisterially two huge masterpieces in the piano...
It is said that the two piano concertos written by Johannes Brahms at two different biographical moments - as their opus numbers (15 and 83, respectively) also point to- require on... Read more
Published on August 7, 2010 by P. Adrian
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